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Country: Portugal  Region: Lisboa  Grapes: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Touriga Franca, Castelao

Formerly known as Estremadura, Lisboa is a long, thin region running up the Atlantic coast from Lisbon. It is Portugal’s second largest wine producing region. Quinta de Chocapalha, producers of Mar de Lisboa Vinho Tinto, is a family estate owned by the Tavares family since the 1980’s. After extensive vineyard and winery improvements, they bottled their first vintage in 2000. Today, winemaker Sandra Tavares is one of Portugal’s hottest winemaking properties, using robotic fermentation tanks and all French Oak, taking the wines of Lisboa to new heights. Their vineyards consist of 111 acres on the sunny hills of Alenquer, renowned since the 16th century for excellent vines and wines.

A complex blending of 45% Tinta Roriz, 35% Touriga Nacional, 10% Syrah, 5% Touriga Franca and 5% Castelao (all Estate-grown) result in an intense violet toned wine. It is a delightful blend of mostly indigenous varietals, producing good concentration on the nose, rich in perfume with notes of mature black fruit. On the palate it is very fine, with soft tannins combined with good acidity and a long aftertaste.

Enjoy it now, at room temperature or gently chilled (about 15 minutes in the refrigerator), with pasta dishes, veal chops or cutlets, rich fish stews and medium cheeses.

Mar de Lisboa Vinho Tinto:

TINTA RORIZ — A medium-sized blue-black grape, it’s fairly harsh, only good in blends.

TOURIGA NACIONAL — Makes an outstandingly rich wine that is high in tannins with great masses of fruit. Wines containing this grape are notoriously long lived and complex.

SYRAH — Blessed with aromas of fresh black and blue fruits, the Syrah grape makes a nectar that’s big, rich and tannic — a virtual fruit showcase in a bottle.

TOURIGA FRANCA — This classic Port grape produces fine quality wines, but is less concentrated than Touriga Nacional.

CASTELAO — AKA Periquita, this fruit blends in any situation, providing good backbone.

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Tracie Burket
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